Club leaders aim to broaden perspectives and promote inclusion

Maxwell Sauers, Reporter

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, all LBHS club presidents attended a lunch meeting, provided by the administration, to discuss critical issues on campus and brainstorm ways in which each respective club could help any students on campus who feel isolated or marginalized.

“Club members are fighting to leave a legacy at Laguna Beach and to improve the quality of all students’ experiences at school,” said principal Dr. Jason Allemann.

No Place for Hate, founded in 1985, nationally recognized Laguna Beach High School as one of over 1,800 schools that advocate daily for student well-being. Club leaders aim to uphold the pillars of the No Place for Hate designation by creating a framework for students to combat, among other things, sensitive language and acts of intolerance on campus. No Place for Hate encourages every member of a school community to stand up for those with diverse backstories, histories, races, religions or any other aspects of a person’s life that could make them feel alienated. 

As more schools gain No Place for Hate designations, student leaders and staff learn how to be more welcoming to all students. In the past 10 years, our health class curriculum has adapted to include Anti-Defamation League (ADL) resources. We have added various lessons about diversity and acceptance. 

“We have tried to orient more subjects about how to accept our peers. We want to make sure that many young adults on our campus are able to see multiple perspectives around our campus,” said LBUSD superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria.

At the most recent meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Breaker Team hosted another meeting in which club leaders reinforced previous goals within their clubs and created new “task forces” to extend their vision schoolwide.

“Within our campus, there are a multitude of issues surrounding mental health, inclusivity and hate speech, so we [club officers and admin] have a lot of hope that our task forces will create a positive impact,” said club officer Kirra Moore. 

Due to a perceived upsurge of ignorant slurs on campus, the Dec. 6 No Place for Hate meeting also focused on how club leaders can educate students about the importance of perspective and diversity. While educating their peers on empathy and tolerance, campus leaders aim to be upstanders through direct address as a form of intervention. 

“We don’t use language like that at our school. That’s not what we stand for.”

Student leaders are currently driving conversations about mental health and hoping to influence classroom curriculum. For example, the Social Justice Book Club advocates for the recognition of LGBTQIA+ historical figures and female authors. They have the current and future student populations in mind. 

Our leaders on campus are actively working to integrate different perspectives to cultivate greater tolerance and acceptance among all who call LBUSD home. 

“Through school-wide club leadership, we hope to create awareness around the issues of diversity, equity and inclusivity on our campus,” said health teacher and Breaker Team Club advisor Michelle Foster.